12-year-old Kyleigh Boone is a 6th grade student at Greene County Tech Middle School. She is also a world class pecan pie baker, on a mission to raise funds for purple heart veterans, one bake sale at a time.
"Pecan pie is my favorite kind of pie -- my grandma taught me how to make it," says Kyleigh, "I entered one of my pies in the fair, and I won first place."
Kyleigh sold her award-winning pecan pies during Thanksgiving and Christmas. In January, she presented to Chapter 708 Military Order of the Purple Heart Veterans in Northeast Arkansas with a $2,000 check, representing the proceeds from her pecan pie sales for 2017.
"It makes me feel really good that I'm helping them," says Kyleigh. "I really think we deserve more than what we can give them."
After Chapter 708 received Kyleigh's gift, the Purple Heart Veterans gave Kyleigh a gift in return. They presented Kyleigh with a certificate of appreciation, and a purple heart necklace. Everett Evans of the Chapter 708 Commander says he can't say enough about what Kyleigh's efforts mean to him, and for the chapter's eighty members.
"It feels great to know that a young person nowadays that thinks of other people beside themselves, it's rare," says Evans, "She's a sweetheart, everyone in the chapter really loves her".
Kyleigh credits her father Brandon Boone as the inspiration behind her campaign. Brandon is a purple heart veteran that suffered multiple concussions, and other injuries during his time in Iraq.
He helps Kyleigh to bake each pie, and give back to the vet community.
"A lot of the veterans in this organization were forgotten for a lot of years," tells Brandon, "so her bringing their presence to a new generation really makes me feel good about it."
Kyleigh's family purchased a second oven to bake and sell more pecan pies, for her third year in a row. Chapter 708 will soon make Kyleigh an associate member.